RICHLAND, Wash. – Worker-driven improvements led crews to treat a record amount of groundwater at the Hanford Site in fiscal 2018 at the lowest cost per gallon in five years.
EM’s Richland Operations Office and contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) treated nearly 2.6 billion gallons, removing more than 90 tons of contaminants, at a cost of about 1.31 cents per gallon during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. That compares with the cost of 1.76 cents per gallon in 2013.
“It has been a busy and successful year for our team,” said John Rendall, vice president of CHPRC’s soil and groundwater remediation project. “Through worker innovation and efficiencies, we are expanding capacity, treating additional waste, and saving money.”
Notable highlights in the past year include saving more than $5 million by using a more efficient type of resin that removes the chemical chromium from groundwater in treatment facility tanks, called vessels. Another key to the cost savings is thinking ahead about how to reduce downtime for maintenance over the long term. The team upgraded equipment at three pump-and-treat facilities, including replacing current treatment vessels with more durable vessels made of stainless steel, which will require fewer maintenance outages.
“We continuously look for ways to make improvements like these to ensure our groundwater treatment network performs well at a reasonable cost,” said Mike Cline, RL project director for cleanup of soil and groundwater at Hanford. “The end goal is protecting the nearby Columbia River, which runs through the site and is a precious resource for the entire Pacific Northwest.”